Maritimer of The Week
Over the past couple of months, 90 Syrian refugee families have moved to Nova Scotia and roughly half of them have visited Halifax’s Syrian Refugee Donation Centre for help.
Nova Scotians responded generously to the call for donations, resulting in racks and racks of clothing and home goods that needed to be sorted.
The centre has been open every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday since before Christmas, a feat that has required a lot of help from volunteers like Bob Price.
“You know, Bob’s been here 100 per cent,” says volunteer Paul Pettipas.
Bob has not missed a day of volunteering since the centre opened.
“At the end of the day, when you see folks leaving and they're happy because of what they were able to gather here and bring to their homes, you feel really good,” says Bob. “I've said to my wife a couple of times ‘I can't imagine how we would feel if we lost everything we owned and came to a country where you do not speak the language and know absolutely nobody.’ It would be pretty daunting and very scary.”
Bob’s wife of 42 years has been volunteering alongside him. She says he is always eager to get to the centre and pitch in.
“Sometimes I sit and wait in the car before (the centre) opened because he's here so early,” says Marilyn Price.
As lead volunteer, Bob trains new volunteers and helps to makes decisions about what to do with donations.
“He quite enjoys it. He can see the overall picture and he can see what needs to be done and he doesn't mind giving people direction,” says Marilyn.
“You need a calming influence because some days in here, because we had one Monday I came in we probably had 100 people in here,” says Paul.
Bob was a school teacher and guidance counsellor for 34 years. He says that experience helps him relate to the refugee families, especially the children.
“Kids, whether they come from the Middle East, China, or downtown Halifax, they are the same universally and they like to play with the toys we have in the background and run around just as my children did when they were three, four, five years of age,” says Bob.
Bob’s dedication to helping Syrian refugee families transition to life in the Maritimes has been an inspiration to those around him.
“Bob has put so many hours in to the effort here and has helped so many people and he's consistent and reliable and we're so grateful for his contribution, and we wouldn't be here without people like Bob,” says Mary Jane MacKinnon of the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration.
Congratulations Bob Price, our Maritimer of the Week!
If you know someone deserving of our Maritimer of the Week award, we want to hear about it.
It doesn’t matter how old they are, the nature of the good deed they’ve done, or what part of the region they live in — we want your ideas!
Please send your nomination to:
Maritimer of the Week
P.O. Box 1653